The Corner

Jonathan Chait Is Intellectually Dishonest, Part 3,441

Jonathan Chait’s account of my remarks yesterday at the Heritage Foundation is factually inaccurate, and he knows that it is factually inaccurate.

Citing the incompetent, slipshod reporting of Suzy Khimm at MSNBC, he writes that my concern about the Left’s drift into naked authoritarianism, specifically the proposal to literally imprison people who hold dissenting positions on climate change, was based on a “single rant on Gawker,” an impression you might indeed get from Ms. Khimm’s amateur-hour reporting. In the course of his very short post, he asserts four times that my concern is based on a single Gawker article.

This is flatly untrue. I mentioned Gawker only in passing; my remarks were directed at Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was speaking at the People’s Climate March, which I am informed by its organizers was the largest and most significant event of its kind in American history, when he called for the conviction and imprisonment of people who disagree with him on climate change. Please feel free to consult the transcripts of his remarks, or Charlie’s excellent response, to confirm this for yourself.

Relying on Suzy Khimm’s account would have been a mistake, but Chait knows that Mr. Kennedy is the source of my recent concern; he even linked to my post on Mr. Kennedy, though he never once in his piece acknowledges that my concerns are based on far more than a single Gawker article, or even so much as mentioned Mr. Kennedy and his daft demands. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the hundred thousand or more people who were cheering him do not constitute a single obscure nobody with a blog. Chait’s account is willfully dishonest, factually inaccurate, and a deceitful misrepresentation of the episode — and New York magazine should insist that it be withdrawn.

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